# Term scattering more of a general process

## Main Question or Discussion Point

term “scattering” more of a general process

Is the term “scattering” more of a general process which incorporates the linear effects of reflection, refraction and diffraction?

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Simon Bridge
Homework Helper
Depends on the context.

Reflection, refraction, and diffraction don't happen in a homogeneous medium. Scattering does.

Claude Bile
In short, Yes.

- The "reflected" wave is referred to as the "scattered" wave.
- The "refracted" wave is referred to as the "internal" wave.

The scattered and internal fields are calculated by applying the boundary conditions at the particle interface.

Diffraction occurs as part-and-parcel of the shape of the scatterer. For example, if the scatterer is spherically symmetric (Mie scattering), the scattered wave will be spherically symmetric as well.

Claude.

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